Saving Your Teeth One Root At A Time Through Apicoectomy

endodontist in raleigh

Endodontist in Raleigh, North Carolina

What Is An Apicoectomy?

Sometimes, the best way to repair a failing root canal is to approach it through the root rather than the crown. This minor surgical procedure is called apical surgery or apicoectomy (surgery on the apex, or tip, of the root). 

Many patients who are recommended an apicoectomy have already had a root canal. The endodontist removes infected pulp from the tooth during a root canal procedure, cleans the tooth, refills it, and reseals it. For most patients, a root canal is sufficient to restore dental health. But some patients need to go a step further. 

Sometimes, the apicoectomy is the only option to try before the tooth needs to be extracted. Our goal is always to do our best to save our patients’ natural teeth. Keeping natural teeth results in maintaining your smile and bite. While sometimes extractions are necessary, preserving your natural tooth is the best option for restoring health and wellbeing. Follow this link to learn more.

What Happens During an Apicoectomy Procedure?

An endodontist performs an apicoectomy. Endodontists have extensive education and experience in dental procedures and treating patients like you. Depending on which tooth needs treatment, your history, and the complexity of the tooth’s root system, Dr. Hancock tailors the surgery to your unique needs.

Apicoectomy is always performed under local anesthesia. Depending on the complexity of the root structure and the location, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. 

Dr. Hancock cuts the gum tissue and moves it away from the tooth to access the root during the procedure. The infected tissue and the last few millimeters of the root tip are removed. Once the root tip is removed, the tooth canal is cleaned from inflamed or infected tissue and sealed with a small filling to prevent future infection. An X-ray of the tooth is taken before the tissue is sutured back into place. 

Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. In fact, it is often less invasive than a routine root canal. In addition, it involves a shorter and less painful recovery.

Once the procedure is done, the surrounding bone and tissue heal around the root. After a successful apicoectomy, the tooth’s function and oral health are restored. 

What to Expect After an Apicoectomy?

Once your procedure is completed, Dr. Hancock provides detailed instructions on spending the next few days at home. Some tips you should follow:

  • – Take prescribed over-the-counter pain medications and antibiotics as instructed.
  • – Eat soft foods until you are healed. 
  • – Avoid extremely hot or cold beverages.
  • – Avoid alcohol during recovery.
  • – Do not smoke or use tobacco until completely healed.

Dr. Hancock will remove the stitches after seven days. While there will be some swelling and soreness after your procedure, it will disappear after two weeks.

An apicoectomy shouldn’t be a scary procedure. Dr. Hancock will ensure every measure is taken to help you keep your natural tooth. Please adhere to the doctor’s instructions to have a successful recovery and heal properly. Please reach out if there is increased swelling, worsening pain, or signs of infection, including sore gums, inflammation, or fever. For more healing tips, click here.

With Your Endodontist in Raleigh, You’re In Good Hands

Today’s advances in diagnostic and surgical techniques, such as microscopic visualization and ultrasonic instruments, have dramatically increased precision in apicoectomies and endodontic surgery. And as a result, success rates are higher than they ever were before.

Read this review from a recent patient, Steve Wilson:

Generally, I’m not a big fan of going to the dentist, but Doctor Hancock is an exception. Yesterday, I had my third root canal with him, the other two, about six years ago, Normally, when I go to the dentist, I break out in a sweat in fear of what is next. Not with Doctor Hancock. He explains exactly what is happening next and what to expect. 

I had on my noise-cancelling headphones which helped me relax. I could have gone to sleep it was such a non-event. With over 20 years of experience, Doctor Hancock is at the top of his game. And not only is Doctor Hancock professional and courteous, but his entire team is also top notch. I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else. Good job!

An apicoectomy can be intimidating, but you are in good hands at HH Hancock in Raleigh. We have helped countless patients like yourself recover from unsuccessful root canal treatments through apicoectomies and other endodontic treatments. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us. At HH Hancock, we specialize in saving your natural teeth.